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4 Reasons Porn Stars Are Nothing Like You Think

#2. Being a Male Porn Star Can Be Horrible Too

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Just because I've been painting porn stars as people in a positive light here, don't think for a second that I'm claiming the actual industry they work in is always a 100 percent squeaky-clean operation. Spend five minutes on Google and you'll find any amount of evidence that the porn industry attracts as many figurative assholes as it does literal ones, and sadly only the latter tend to get fisted. As such, no matter how level-headed porn stars themselves may be, the field in general has plenty of potential pitfalls for the unwary.

Unwary women, that is. Male porn actors rarely feature on anyone's agenda when perils of porn are discussed. Why bother? There's no way those guys have a worry in the world. They spend their days banging gorgeous women and get paid for it, for fuck's sake!

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"WITH MONEY!"

However, that's not to say the life of a male porn star is completely without peril. Thanks to industry veteran Lance Hart, Cracked has already offered you a sneak peek at the surprisingly many occupational hazards of life as a professional boner, ranging from erection issues and horrifying physical discomfort to accidental clown fetishes. Other porn actors agree that earning a living by hiding the sausage on command amounts to a lot more than people think. Apart from the many specific performance issues that come from having to screw random strangers in acrobatic positions for hours while uninterested interns chew gum 10 feet away, there's the social factor; as with any freelance-based job, you need to price yourself right and make sure everyone in the production likes you if you want to work for them again.

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"Yes, Mr. Flynt, I realize this is your personal safe, but we're shooting burglar-themed porn and I'm trying to get into character."

And then there's the loneliness -- the crushing, alienating loneliness that can so easily accompany a life that revolves around robotically boning people all day and never finding one that will be close to you. No matter how muscular and handsome and well-endowed you are, chances are most women outside the industry are going to stop returning your calls the second they find out what you do for a living. As for finding love within the industry, good luck with that: Sure, there are a few porn actor-actress couples that are able to make it work, but as porn actor Tommy Gunn openly laments, the girls of porn generally want little to do with their male co-workers during their off hours, especially when it comes to a serious relationship.

Even if you manage to avoid the pitfalls of relationship ... pitfalls, it is still porn you're making. There's always the chance you're going to be that unfortunate asshole who lets the industry and the negative aspects of the lifestyle it allows get to you, and you'll end up depressed, addicted, dead, or all three.

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"Say, I wonder if his coffin is hardwood. Get it? Hard wood?"
"... Shut the fuck up, Ronnie."

#1. The Profession as We Knew It Is Gone

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In one way or another, porn is always going to be around. There's no stopping it; even humanity's legendary propensity for murdering other species can't hold a candle to our willingness to ogle boobs. However, the classic, scene-filming, occasionally stripping cookie-cutter cutie -- a la Jenna Jameson -- is rapidly going the way of the dodo. Oh, she will probably always be around in some capacity, but she's losing a foothold as the world has begun to realize how many other options there are at the Get-a-Boner Emporium.

Lately, it seems that every awesome thing the industry achieves comes with a financially hurtful twist for the performers. Take the rigorous STD testing processes that are in place nowadays. They're necessary and they're awesome, but occasionally someone with a serious disease (read: HIV) still slips through, which is when the entire business (or, at least, the not-too-shady parts of it) screeches into a moratorium that lasts until everyone gets tested and the results are in. Health-wise, this is wonderful and professional and responsible. Money-wise, it's another story: The year 2013 alone saw three moratoriums, during which no one works and no one gets paid. And the people sorely, sorely need to get paid, thanks to the challenges presented by another apparent godsend, the Internet. "Hold on," you say. "How can the Internet hinder the porn industry? The Internet is porn!" Think about it: Back in the day, porn was all physical magazines and video cassettes and DVDs. Now, as the online world is nigh oversaturated by free porn, more and more performers are finding out the job's not the sure-fire moneymaker it may seem.

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"So, apparently, I'm a piggy bank now."

Sure, a handful of big-name performers are still just fine; they have contracts with reputable studios and, even if a moratorium strikes, they can always hit the lucrative stripping circuit and cash in on their star status (which they likely do anyway in between productions). But not everyone can work the stripper pole, and the less-known you are, the more difficult things are going to get if you want to pay the bills.

So the porn stars change, adapt, and get creative.

Oinegue/iStock/Getty Images
So very, very creative.

Porn has been experiencing a similar transition phase to the one that the music industry encountered when the Internet exploded. In other words, things got indie as shit. It's not enough for a porn star to bump uglies and yodel as sexily as they can manage anymore -- it's all about finding a niche that appeals to the Rule 34-marinated online audience. As such, the "classic" porn star is just one of the many, many kinks available to the sticky-keyboarded connoisseurs of copulation.

The new faces of porn are people like alt-porn pioneer Joanna Angel, or Cracked's favorite sex puppeteer camgirl, Veronica Chaos: active characters who refuse to take what they get, instead choosing to proactively peddle their particular brand of perversion, capturing your imagination and hauling you(r wallet) in. Hell, some have found a way to cash in on the Internet's many perversions without so much as taking their clothes off; there are girls who have managed to turn eating in front of a webcam into a $9,000-a-month business, and although I don't even know anymore if that technically counts as porn, I refuse to believe even a tenth of their followers are watching the feed with their pants on.

So, these are the porn stars whose world we now live in. Their job might not always be as lucrative as it used to be, and they're definitely not as secretive as they used to be. They're proudly out in the open, getting progressively more creative as the Internet saturates with normal content, tapping you on the online shoulder and inviting you to see whether they've managed to conjure a piece of beautiful erotica or flat-out spider-monster fuckfests this particular day. For better or for worse, that's who our purveyors of porn are now.

Be nice to them -- they're not going anywhere.

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Pauli Poisuo

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